There’s nothing as important to your agency’s health as retention. That’s because retaining existing clients is much easier and more cost-effective than winning over new clients. In this blog, we’ll go over some of the key information you need to know about retention and how to develop and execute an agency-wide plan to maximize policy renewals. When you can build and execute a retention strategy at scale, every new sale expands your company instead of just helping you maintain so that your agency can reach its full potential.
What Is Retention?
It’s easy to confuse retention with acquisition. Retention involves keeping the customers your agency already serves, whereas acquisition involves winning over new clients. The process of successfully finding and selling your services to new customers is much more expensive and labor-intensive than remarketing to insureds who already use your services. And, even if you have a fantastic marketing strategy for capturing new business, if your retention game isn’t strong, your book of business will still end up shrinking. The key to building a successful agency is having a retention plan that captures every renewal possible so that when you do win over new clients, you’re adding to an already strong customer base to increase profitability, not just maintain it.
An effective retention plan involves agency-wide strategies that focus on both boosting renewals and providing excellent customer service that keeps insureds happy with your offerings and loyal to your business. Client loyalty translates to increased retention rates as satisfied customers are much more likely to respond positively to your renewal offers.
Maximizing retention requires you to clearly outline and document your retention priorities before formulating them into a long-term plan that includes the agency-wide approaches you will focus on to reach your goals. Your strategy should include processes that make retention a daily habit – with an assigned list of tasks for insurance agents to focus on every day – involving customer communication, customer service, data analysis, and outreach that touches on 100 percent of renewals.
What to Include in Your Retention Strategy
Some key areas you should make sure to include in your agency-wide retention strategy are:
EZLynx® Retention Center® is the only software currently on the market that offers a patented process for touching 100% renewals and identifying at-risk clients to prioritize them. These capabilities greatly impact your overall retention. The ability to proactively engage every client during the renewal process means that none will slip through the cracks. When at-risk clients are identified early on, they can be given special attention to make it much more likely that they’ll renew with your agency. EZLynx Retention Center also easily generates comparisons of insurance policies so that clients get a view of their previous and upcoming premiums side-by-side before they even request it. This saves your agency the hassle of searching through dec pages to manually deliver policy compare and gives insureds transparency and personalized service.
Providing multiple forms of communication and reaching out regularly to policyholders is an essential tactic for building long-term customer relationships with clients that boost loyalty and retention. Consistently messaging clients outside of the renewal period is a way to offer the personal touch that makes customers feel like they’re always top of mind. Providing multiple communication touchpoints, like email and text, also allows clients to choose the form that best suits them. Clients who are happy with your outreach are much more likely to stay loyal to your agency during renewal time.
Your agency should offer communication options and strategies that include:
Email is a critical communication tool for any agency. It allows you to contact and follow up with insureds about important information regarding their premiums, but it can also do so much more. When you send regular, personalized emails to insureds on special dates like birthdays and anniversaries or as timely reminders, you establish a stronger customer relationship, making insureds more likely to stay loyal to your agency over time. Email software can also help your agency maintain client relationships with automated send-dates to both save time and nurture that connection with your insureds.
Many clients now prefer communicating via text to communicating by email. When you offer clients the option to reach your agency via text, you can boost customer satisfaction and overall loyalty by providing clients with a convenient communication option that benefits both you and the insured. With a 97% open rate, text messaging gets you faster responses so you can work more efficiently while keeping customers happy with your level of service.
Excellent Insurance Customer Service
Another way to boost customer loyalty and improve overall retention is by providing an excellent customer experience with superior service. The best way to do this is with a 24/7 online mobile-optimized portal where clients can access ID cards and policies and make requests anytime, anywhere, day or night. Modern clients expect round-the-clock access to your agency and may grow frustrated with your service if it’s not provided. An online portal increases retention by giving a level of service that meets and exceeds customers’ needs so that they’re more likely to respond positively to renewal offers. As another advantage, online portals give your agency more time back in the day as in-person service isn’t required for insureds to access documents or make requests through the portal.
Data and Analytics
You can ensure you’re meeting all your retention goals when you track your agency's metrics. Software that lets you collect and analyze agency data can help you see if your retention strategy is working or if you need to make changes to it. The sooner you can make necessary changes, the sooner you can get back on course. If your data shows that your strategy is a success, you can double down on all the tactics that are working to increase retention even more. Either way, having reporting and analytics software is essential to any agency’s retention strategy.
Automation software has capabilities that make completing retention tasks easier and faster. By incorporating automation throughout your retention plan, you can maintain long-term relationships with clients using scheduled, automated communications. Make insureds feel like you care with regular updates and email check-ins while saving your agents the time it would take to manually track and send communication. When it’s time for renewals, clients receiving this type of outreach are much more likely to feel connected to your agency and renew.
Emphasis on Cross-Selling
Cross-selling is a key retention tactic; the more services a client receives from your agency, the more likely they will remain with you. To capture every cross-selling opportunity possible, you’ll need software that helps you identify every potential cross-sell and gives you target details for specific products a customer may need. Software that sifts through your business and quote data for potential cross-sells while giving you essential closing deal tips will increase your revenue through additional business and help maximize client retention.
Customer Retention Strategies
To make retention a core strength of your agency, you’ll need to implement an agency-wide strategy that includes more than just reaching out during renewal time. A successful strategy will put customer satisfaction at the center of your operations. It will also tap into software that can make analyzing data, touching 100% of renewals, and cross-selling simple and easy. When you have a retention strategy that encompasses excellent client communication and services to boost loyalty and also helps you address the day-to-day outreach and tasks associated with retention, there’s no limit to your agency’s potential for growth.